Sunday, January 02, 2011

NFL Today on CBS Pregame Notes - Week 17

From CBS Sports -


NEWS, NOTES & QUOTES FROM CBS SPORTS’ “THE NFL TODAY” WITH JAMES BROWN, DAN MARINO, SHANNON SHARPE,  BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 17 ON JANUARY 2

► QUICK HITS

(On NFL Playoff Picture)
BOOMER ESIASON: I believe Atlanta will have the No. 1 seed after today they'll beat Carolina. If there was a good loss, I think Mike Smith had that on Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. It wakes the Atlanta Falcons up and let's them know they are beatable at home. I think they'll win and lock up the number 1 seed, the road to the Super Bowl goes through the Georgia Dome.

(On St. Louis rookie quarterback Sam Bradford)
BILL COWHER: I've watched Sam Bradford the last couple weeks. I believe he's hit the rookie wall. I'm telling you now I've seen it.  I saw it with Ben Roethlisberger at the end of the season.

(On whether Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer is better off without Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens)
DAN MARINO: I say yes. Carson had a great game last week.  And the young guys, it’s the first time I saw him smiling on the sidelines all year. Chad has been a distraction. T.O. had a productive year, but he's 38-years-old. Go with the young guys, keep smiling Carson Palmer.

(On whether anybody can beat the Patriots)
COWHER: They're playing very well, but history says even last year that the Baltimore Ravens went up there in the playoffs, they forced four turnovers with Tom Brady. They were able to run the ball for 230 yards. This is a football team that I look at them and they're not turning it over, like they have done in the past. They get no pass rush on defense. I think their defense is still very young. I don't think it's dominating.
So, yes, they're playing very well because they're not beating themselves, but they're vulnerable.

SHARPE: I think the Baltimore Ravens can go in there and beat them, and I think the Indianapolis Colts…But I think they're very beatable. Their defense is young, and they don't play particularly well rushing the passer.

MARINO: I don't always agree with Bill Belichick playing Tom Brady to the end of some of these games when it doesn't mean anything for them. But at the same time they're a different team than last year in the playoffs…They're a different team and they don't turn the ball over. The only way I see them losing at home is if they stop themselves by turning the ball over and giving other teams a chance to beat them because of that.

JAMES BROWN: In this era of NFL parity, New England is the closest thing to a dynasty that there is.

“INSIDE THE GAME” WITH “NFL TODAY GENERAL MANAGER” CHARLEY CASSERLY

(On Coaching Carousel)
CASSERLY: First of all the New York Giants, Tom Coughlin will be back as head coach next year. He's entering the last year of his contract. Look for him to get a contract extension. The Giants have been in this situation before, they've extended that coach one year and both times went to the Super Bowl.

Next up, to Houston and Gary Kubiak will be back next year as head coach of the Texans. Look for a new defensive coordinator.

Next up, Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans.  He wants to come back. What's going to happen with Vince Young? If he wants to get out of his contract, they will let him. That is a key point.  On the Christmas card that Bud Adams sent out this year his arm is around Vince Young, not Jeff Fisher.

Eric Mangini will meet with Mike Holmgren tomorrow of the Cleveland Browns. Holmgren wanted to see him for a year and see an improvement in his record.  He also wanted to see improvement in the passing game. I'm not sure both of them have improved enough in Mike Holmgren's mind.

Now Jack Del Rio is disappointed in how the team played the last two weeks. However, two years to go and $10 million, I expect him to be back next year.

Next up, Tony Sparano, owner Stephen Ross as been out of the country, and is still out of the country. He won’t be at today's game, but look for him and Tony Sparano to meet when Ross gets back to determine his future.

Next up, Jason Garrett, I talked to the Cowboys this morning. They told me nothing has been decided yet, but clearly he's the leader in the clubhouse. The Cowboys have to comply with the Rooney Rule, but I expect Garrett to be the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

Now Leslie Frazier will meet with ownership tomorrow. No discussions have taken place yet on a contract. There is a lot of sentiment in the building to name Frazier the head coach. I expect him to be the next head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Then we turn to Marvin Lewis and Cincinnati Bengals. His contract has expired. He'll meet with ownership this week. Key point for Lewis in the discussion, what will it take to make the Bengals competitive on a yearly basis? One interesting note there they're the only team in their division that does not have an indoor facility.

Last up, John Harbaugh. Give us the fist. In the last year of his contract, and you will get a contract extension.

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